MALTON AND NORTON NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
THE TOWN COUNCILS’ CONSULTATION
A draft version of the Neighbourhood Plan can be viewed by clicking here. This version was drafted by an independent group of people who live and work in Malton and Norton, along with a number of Town Council Members. Both Malton Town Council and Norton Town Council have endorsed this draft version to form the basis of a public consultation exercise. This is by no means the final version.
In order to ensure the final version represents everyone's views and reflects the wishes of those who live and work in Malton and Norton, consultation is being undertaken which will address the breadth of issues covered in the draft Neighbourhood Plan. A brief outline of the main issues is set out below:
There are currently several viewpoints about how many houses should be built in Malton and Norton in the future. At the moment, Ryedale DC has to identify enough sites to satisfy the housing target set out in the Regional Spatial Strategy. This means the Council needs to find land to accommodate 1500 houses over the next fifteen years in Malton and Norton. However, after the Localism Bill receives Royal Assent, Ryedale DC will be required to identify its own housing target based on local priorities.
The Town Councils believe that the housing target should be reduced as Malton and Norton do not have the infrastructure to accommodate the RSS target. The Town Councils therefore propose that only 1000 houses should be built over the next 15 years. However, a group of people who represent local businesses support the RSS target as it is considered that 1500 houses will help generate more foot fall to use and support the Town Centre, as well as provide funds for new infrastructure.
Given the different viewpoints, it is therefore sensible to understand what people in the community think would be the right number of houses for Malton and Norton.
Affordable housing includes houses rented from local authorities or housing associations, as well as intermediate housing, where specified eligible households are able to access the housing market through shared equity schemes or discounted values. Affordable housing is intended to provide reasonably priced housing for people working and living in the district, particularly in the towns, and to maintain the balance of age groups in the population.
Ryedale DC currently expects 35 per cent of new houses built on developments to be for affordable housing. The Council however wants to increase the target to 40 per cent on all schemes of 10 dwellings or 0.33 hectares or more in Malton and Norton. For sites below this threshold, the Council would expect a financial contribution from the developer to fund improvements and additions to services to cater for the impact of increased housing.
Although 35 per cent or even 40 per cent may pose no problem to large building firms developing major sites, such a requirement may make smaller developments unviable and could mean small sites are unlikely to be built. The draft Neighbourhood Plan therefore suggests that a degree of flexibility should be introduced to the amount of affordable housing Ryedale DC might seek.
This would also be with a view to seeking developer contributions to a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which would provide additional funds towards improving infrastructure. In recent years the planning system has introduced the ability for local authorities to require certain set amounts of money to be paid towards a fund. The fund is expected to be spent on necessary infrastructure improvements which might include road improvements, new community facilities or open space.
Ryedale DC is required to identify sufficient land to meet employment growth and business needs over the next fifteen years in preparing the Local Development Framework. The employment target is based on a number of assessments commissioned by Ryedale DC to identify the quantity and quality of new premises that are required. The Council is currently proposing to allocate some 45 hectares of land across Ryedale for development, with 36 hectares allocated to Malton and Norton.
There are a number of existing industrial business parks around Malton and Norton, which could be extended in the future to meet part of the employment target. These sites do however cater for certain types of businesses and would not be suitable sites for more prestigious offices or modern technology manufacturing businesses.
Ryedale DC is therefore proposing a number of different approaches to meet the future needs of existing businesses and to attract new businesses, which include:
There are several issues which need to be addressed. These include whether the Council’s approach will provide the right type of sites for future business needs, and if the right amount of land is being allocated.
The Council’s approach is based upon a number of Employment Land Surveys which were commissioned before and during the recession. Both took an optimistic approach to the amount of land which might be needed. Neither commented on whether the take up rate was realistic in the context of the way previous rates of development have been affected by historic economic conditions.
Furthermore, neither commented on whether it was best to allocate land to meet the job growth rate required for employment needs of new residents resulting from proposed levels of housing growth or whether it would be more appropriate for housing growth to reflect predicted levels of economic growth.
The studies also fail to specifically recognise the contribution of the Racing Industry to the economy of Ryedale and the number of jobs it creates. Such an oversight means that job forecasts and land allocations have been based on traditional employment sectors i.e. offices, manufacturing and industry. Also, the distribution of housing development has been based on traditional employment sectors, rather than on the needs of the horse industry. This could affect the ability of the horse industry to expand and also have implications for journeys to work and the location of services.
There is also the issue of whether the Studies recognise sufficiently the need to provide land suitable for small businesses rather than large employers. Ryedale’s economy is heavily reliant on small and medium sized businesses which typically have less than twenty five employees.
A number of studies commissioned by Ryedale DC have identified that there is capacity for a new supermarket in Malton on the basis that it will encourage people to shop in Malton rather than going to York or Scarborough. There are currently two sites being put forward for a new supermarket, but the type of supermarket and the benefits each proposal might have for Malton are very different:
Wentworth Street Car Park: This site is owned by Ryedale DC and the Council is proposing to sell the site for a new supermarket. It is understood that both Sainsburys and Tescos are interested, which means that shoppers who currently drive to the Sainsburys and Tescos in York would be able to shop in Malton instead. The WSCP site is located on the edge of Malton and would attract ‘trolley shoppers’ wanting to do a weekly or infrequent shop. Such shoppers are less likely also to visit the shops in Malton town centre and so this proposal would have limited benefit for the regeneration of the town centre. The sale of the site would provide a pot of money for the Council to spend. It is understood that not all of the capital receipt would be spent in Malton, but that an element would be spent across the District.
Livestock Market: This site is owned by the Fitzwilliam Malton Estate. It is proposed that the current livestock market would be relocated to the edge of Malton and the current site be redeveloped to provide a Waitrose or Booths, a multi storey car park and a range of units suitable for high street brands. The small supermarket would attract ‘basket shoppers’ wanting to pick up a few select items. Such shoppers are more likely also to visit the shops in Malton town centre, not least because the site is so close to the town centre. Redeveloping this site is intended to provide new units which meet the requirements of modern retailers so as to encourage a better representation of familiar high street brands in Malton.
Town Development Sites
There are a number of key sites in Malton being considered for future development.
The Market Place: There are currently a number of proposals concerning improvements to the Market Place, and on-going discussions about the basis for the future economy of the town centre. Various reports commissioned by Ryedale DC have put forward different strategies for increasing visitors and attracting businesses which include encouraging more restaurants and cafes to boost the evening economy and making improvements to the highways and footways. North Yorkshire County Council is currently undertaking consultation on highway improvements, which include pedestrianisation, shared space, and a one way system. Suggestions have also been made in favour of relaxing the restrictions on alterations to the interiors of historic buildings, to enable them to be configured in ways suitable for use by commercial retailers.
The Talbot Hotel: The Talbot Hotel is owned by the Fitzwilliam Malton Estate. The Estate is currently in the process of refurbishing to establish a high quality hotel, with 26 en-suite bedrooms, casual and formal dining, as well as conference and function facilities.
Livestock Market: A number of reports commissioned by Ryedale DC recommend that the livestock market should be redeveloped, with the primary aim of underpinning the future well-being of the town centre. Several studies recommend a mix of high street brand retailers with a small high end supermarket acting as an ‘anchor’ store which would be the main attraction for shoppers. There is some question about whether this may happen as the reports suggest there is only capacity for one supermarket which means this site is competing with the Wentworth Street Car Park site.
The Showfield Site: The existing Ryedale Local Plan shows this site as a visually attractive open area which should not be developed. It has however been put forward as a possible site for the relocation of the Livestock Market.
Wentworth Street Car Park: The issues relating to WSCP are addressed in the sections on Car Parking and Retail. The main issue is that a local action group would like to see the car park retained whilst Ryedale DC would like to see the site redeveloped for a supermarket.
Wheelgate: North Yorkshire County Council is currently consulting on a number of schemes to alter the town centre road network and to improve the street scene. This may affect parking and pavement widths.
York House: There may be opportunities to bring this building back into use, subject to funding. One idea put forward is for a Museum of Racing.
East Mount: There is an opportunity to redevelop this site. A proposal has been put forward for residential use, subject to the relocation of the existing sports facilities.
Highfield Road: There is the capacity for this open area site to be improved for recreation and sports use.
Land to the North of Commercial Street (between Wallgates Lane and the ATS site), Norton: Currently waste land, this site could be considered as a car park and service area for the shops on Commerical Street.
An upgrade of A64 junction at Brambling Fields to give on/off access in both directions is planned for completion in 2012.
There are various other proposals to deal with current congestion and potential increased future traffic flows generated by new development. These include:
Whilst lack of funding presents the biggest obstacle to the progress of any one of the above, it would be sensible to review the various proposals with a view to understanding whether benefits might justify the investment, and setting priorities for the future.
At the moment, there is no consistency in parking charges across Malton and Norton. Some car parks are free, whilst others are expensive to use. Also, within certain parts of town, there are time restrictions, whilst in other parts of town there are none.
A study commissioned by Ryedale DC recommended that a Car Parking Strategy should be prepared in order to ensure consistency and to ensure that any charges would not be discouraging to local business and tourism. This recommendation has not yet been taken forward by Ryedale DC. The draft Neighbourhood Plan supports the preparation of a Car Parking Strategy.
There is also an issue concerning the future of Wentworth Street Car Park, as there are currently two quite different views. Ryedale DC would like to see the car park redeveloped for a supermarket, which might incorporate some long stay car parking, whilst many in the community would like to see the car park retained for long stay car parking, since it is considered that there is insufficient provision to serve Malton for the future. The draft Neighbourhood Plan supports the second view, but it is necessary to understand whether this view is shared by the majority who live and work in Malton.
North Yorkshire County Council are currently proposing to close both of the local libraries in Malton and Norton, and open a brand new library on a site close to Malton train station. This would mean that library services would be less accessible to many residents, including the school children who currently use the libraries on a regular basis. The alternative is to find ways to make cost savings in order to retain the libraries on their current sites. Such cost saving exercises might include shorter opening hours, sharing staff or allowing other services to use the buildings, such as tourist information or the Police. The draft Neighbourhood Plan supports the retention of the two existing libraries but with a reduced service in order to make financial savings.
The Ryedale Ward at Malton and Norton Community Hospital has recently been closed despite major refurbishment only last year. Patients are currently being treated under a pilot care at home scheme, now being reviewed. The draft Neighbourhood Plan supports the re-opening of Ryedale Ward.
When new houses are built there are invariably more children who require places at local schools. This can cause problems if not properly planned, as it can put pressures on the number of children in each class, as well as on the general resourcing of schools. The draft Neighbourhood Plan suggests that the situation be monitored and school provision be properly planned to reflect the level of housing growth.
The River Derwent is as much an asset as a constraint to Malton and Norton. It provides an important feature of the towns as an attraction for leisure and tourism, and a focus for development. On the other hand it is subject to flood risk, which leaves certain areas of Malton and Norton vulnerable to flooding and, as a nature conservation area, it requires protection.
An area of the river corridor is currently a designated SSSI, which is a national nature conservation designation. For a number of reasons, the character of the SSSI has changed since it was first designated and it is now questionable whether it has the same ecological value. The draft Neighbourhood Plan suggests that the SSSI classification should not apply to the section of the river between Ryemouth and York Road Industrial Estate. This could enable sympathetic redevelopment of key sites along the river corridor and increase recreational use. It would also allow positive management of the silting problem.
The draft Neighbourhood Plan supports the establishment of a Trust, perhaps set up under the direction of the Malton and Norton Area Partnership, to manage demands of flow conveyance, ecological habitats and aesthetic and recreational objectives in order to promote the towns. It could also ensure that appropriate opportunities are taken to work with the appropriate parties and agencies to bring vacant sites back into use, manage the siltation and protect the ecological value of the river.
The horse racing industry is important to Ryedale’s economy, with a high concentration of stables and employees. According to the British Horse Racing Board, Malton is one of four notable areas, which also includes Newmarket, Lambourn and Middleham. To support the existing industry, a proposal is being made for a new specialised physiotherapy and rehabilitation centre, which would be only the second such centre in the whole country. To have such a facility in Ryedale would potentially boost the importance of the District in British racing and encourage visitors with racing interests. The draft Neighbourhood Plan supports this proposal.
Sports and Recreation
Both Malton Cricket clubs, together with Rugby and Football, are situated in Old Malton, with the Tennis, Bowls and Squash clubs presently on East Mount. East Mount is expected to be redeveloped, and the draft Neighbourhood Plan supports the relocation of the facilities to a location adjacent to the other sports facilities in Old Malton.
Norton has its own Football Club. Between the two towns there are facilities for Golf, Bowling, Hockey, Canoeing, Rifle and Pistol shooting and snooker as well as a Swimming Pool. In addition, there are fitness centres, playing fields and a skateboard park.
Malton School, as well as Norton College, has sports facilities available for use by the community outside school hours. Clubs have the priority to use the facilities at Malton School, resulting in restricted opportunities for pay-as-you-go use by individuals.
Owing to the large number of clubs using the facilities, it can be difficult for other users to gain access. It may be desirable to make this easier for pay-as-you-go users.
Malton and Norton also have a wide variety of clubs in which people can get involved. These are considered important for the social life of residents ensuring people have opportunities to share common interests.
Tourism and Malton Museum
Malton and Norton currently have a number of established visitor attractions, including the Food Lovers Festival, Motor Show, Roman and Literary Festivals. The towns are located in an area which attracts visitors, with attractions including Castle Howard, Eden Camp Museum and Flamingoland. There are regular train and bus services to York, Scarborough and further afield, providing opportunities for visitors to other parts of Yorkshire also to visit Malton and Norton. It would appear that there is considerable potential to expand the tourist offer in Malton and Norton.
The Malton Museum contains predominantly Roman artefacts found in and around Malton and Norton, revealing a uniquely wide range of aspects of the Roman military, of town and rural settlement and of industrial production. The Museum is currently seeking funding to move its collections from the old Town Hall in Malton Market Place when its lease with Ryedale DC expires. The aim is to create an exhibition space close to the Derventio fort site on Orchard Fields. This will provide the opportunity to develop understanding of the Roman influence on our civilisation, and in particular to show the many positive advantages it provided for the neighbourhood of Malton and Norton.
There are proposals to show local collections of 19th and 20th century artefacts and to establish a Horse Racing Museum in recognition of the importance of horse racing to the Ryedale economy.
The Milton Rooms
The Milton and Assembly Rooms (together, the ‘Milton Rooms’) have the potential to be the significant centre of community life in Malton and Norton and to become an important regional arts venue. The Milton Room is the largest auditorium in Ryedale and the complex of rooms provides considerable flexibility for different uses. It therefore has the potential to be used to a much greater extent than at present.
The property is owned on a secure 900 year lease by Ryedale DC, at a nil rent from Fitzwilliam Estate, and managed day to day by the Milton Rooms Management Committee on behalf of the community.
This community asset has not been regularly maintained and repaired to keep it in good condition. The Milton Rooms Committee has struggled to manage the facility with insufficient financial support. Funding for modest repairs has been recently secured. A painting programme is underway, but essential repairs and redecoration are urgently required in a number of rooms.
The draft Neighbourhood Plan encourages engagement with Ryedale DC to look at opportunities to pursue capital funding for restoration and renovation and to support the Milton Rooms committee in initiatives to bring life back into the building through cultural and arts events.
It is the intention of the two Town Councils that this consultation should be as extensive and inclusive as is practical, and that it should therefore produce meaningful results. A planning consultant has been instructed to organise an appropriate programme and the consultation is being undertaken over a five week period.
During this time, a permanent exhibition will be installed in the windows of the former Pine Shop in Market Place and also in the Norton Town Council Office. Everyone is encouraged to stop and have a look at the information boards which outline the main issues.
Two public meetings will be held at 7pm on 9 May at Milton Rooms, Market Place, Malton, and at 7pm on 2 June at Norton Town Council Offices, Commercial Street, Norton. A presentation will be given by Directions Planning Consultancy at each meeting and there will be opportunities to ask questions of members of the Town Councils about the Neighbourhood Plan.
Double Decker Bus Exhibition
You are encouraged to come along to any of the exhibitions, where the authors of the draft Neighbourhood Plan and Malton and Norton Town Council will be in attendance to discuss the future of Malton and Norton. These exhibitions will be held in a double decker bus which will be parked in:
At the public meetings and the exhibitions, you will have the opportunity to take part in some interactive exercises and to express your views on a variety of matters.
The main way to tell us what you want for the future of Malton and Norton is to complete a questionnaire. An electronic version of the questionnaire can be completed by clicking here. Alternatively, paper copies of the questionnaire may be collected and returned to a number of locations around Malton and Norton:
Please note that we have set a deadline of 5pm on Friday 10 June 2011 for responses.